Coe beats Bubka to become new IAAF president
British former long distance runner, Seb Coe, has been elected the new president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) at the body’s 50th congress in Beijing.
The former head of the London 2012 Olympics was voted in by 115 countries as opposed to 92, who voted for his challenger, Sergey Bubka.
In total, 211 countries were eligible to vote following the confirmation in congress of Kosovo and South Sudan as members of the IAAF.
Coe succeeds long-standing president, Lamine Diack, who steps down after 16 years in charge.
In his presentation to delegates before being elected, Coe said: “I am not asking to take power today. I am asking to share power and to spread power. We have to be humble.”
The challenge for the Briton will be leading the sport of athletics firstly through the choppy waters of numerous doping allegations and accusations of the IAAF covering up violations.
Speaking at his first press conference as the new IAAF president Coe said: “I am deeply honoured that our sport has placed its trust in me. There is no job I want to do more – nor with greater commitment.
“I am very flattered, very, very honoured to have been elected President. I haven’t had much of a chance to let it sink in.
“Lamine has left us with an extraordinarily strong foundation and one aspect of that foundation is that we are a truly global sport. I will do my best to continue from those firm foundations
“I want to thank the (members) federations but I also want to thank those that cover and broadcast our sport. We tend to forget that the media is most potent sponsor of our sport; and I will maintain my chairmanship of the media committee.
“You have a president that will devote himself full-time to the IAAF. It has been a long and hard campaign but it has given us the chance to pause for breath, the chance to review and renew itself.”
Coe will officially take office on August 31 at the conclusion of the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015.